Acne is one of the most common and widely spread chronic skin disorders affecting millions of people around the globe.
A lot of methods and medications have been introduced with time which ranges from anti biotic to various herbal and home remedies.
This article shall discuss the scientifically developed technique of laser resurfacing to improve on various skin conditions like acne and wrinkles, lines and scars among others.
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What is Laser Resurfacing?
It is a technique involving removal of the upper layers of skin by the use of light beams in order to promote the growth and development of a new skin layer and skin cells.
It leads to the rejuvenation of skin by destroying the damaged skin cells and causing it to be replaced by new cells.
The Laser Resurfacing technique has been effective in treating facial lines, wrinkles, acne scars, signs of aging and blemishes.
It also heals sun damaged skin and warts along with liver spots. It also facilitates penetration to the deeper layers of skin, thereby ensuring complete treatment.
How does Laser Resurfacing treat acne?
Laser resurfacing involves the use of a light beam to remove the damaged and irregular skin cells completely destroying them.
This leads to the natural response of the body to induce collagen which facilitates the formation of new skin cells.
The new skin formation is free of any damage and is more tight and firm. It is a very precise treatment and only affects area that requires treatment leaving the rest unaffected.
Who should have the treatment
Laser resurfacing is a treatment mostly suited to light skinned or fair people as opposed to dark skinned people.
This is because this procedure might lead to hypo pigmentation which will make the skin of their face lighter than the skin on other parts of body.
As such the lightness of skin color will not affect fair people much as it tends to merge with their complexion.
With time, new laser technologies have developed with more and more precision and considerably fewer side effects.
However, there are two types of lasers that are most widely being used these days.
A detailed description of both these kinds of laser is enumerated below:
1. Co2 laser resurfacing treatment
Carbon dioxide laser treatment involves exposing the affected area on skin to very highly concentrated laser light. This pulsated light evaporates the water contained in the epidermis which constitutes 70% of the entire content causing the damaged layers of skin to dissolve.
This dissolution causes new cells to form and a fresh and younger layer of skin to develop, as the dead skin starts to shed.
This treatment is used mostly on the face, hands, chest and neck. It is effective in treating sun damage, aging symptoms which include lines and wrinkles and acne scars among other things.
If used only partially, this treatment might take 35 to 40 minutes whereas if used on the complete face it can take well over an hour and a half.
Also, shallow wrinkles and lines that are mostly confided to the upper layer of the epidermis can be treated in one round while deeper skin problems may require more rounds.
The redness caused due to the exposure to the laser beams take 2 to 3 weeks to completely disappear. This treatment requires to be repeated after every 6 months, though not compulsorily.
After the treatment, the area concerned is kept covered for at least 3 days and it might take 10 to 21 days for it to heal completely even as the redness takes more than 3 months to go away completely at times.
It is usually believed to cost 3000$ to 6000$. However, the price may differ from procedure to procedure depending upon where it is being done.
Also, if it is used as a cosmetic surgery, most insurance companies might not be willing to cover its expenses. However there can be exceptions if it is used to remove precancerous growth on the skin.
2. Er. YAG laser resurfacing treatment
Er.YAG lasers are solid-state lasers that emit light with the wavelength of 2940 nm (infrared light).
These lasers are known to generate the least amount of harmful heat. Another peculiar quality attributed to Er.YAG laser is that its output is readily absorbed by water which is why it gets excluded from surgeries and other application where water is present.
However, apart from getting absorbed in water, it is also very easily absorbed by hydro apatite which makes it suitable for cutting bones and soft tissues.
Its other applications include the laser resurfacing of human skin in cases of acne scarring, deep rhytides and melasma.
It is widely used for dentistry and implant dentistry as well as for the removal of warts.
The Er.YAG laser has relatively fewer side effects and is a safer option. It is also a less time consuming method.
It takes a few minutes for small areas and may be an hour and a half for larger areas. These new lasers also facilitate deeper penetration of the skin.
The cost of Er.YAG laser treatment has been estimated at 3000$ to 6000$ per treatment and might require repetition after 6 months.
Benefits of Laser Resurfacing
As modern sciences have developed, new techniques have been developed that have caused a reduced instance of side effects and a more effective impact of the treatment.
The benefits of laser resurfacing are enumerated below:
- The risks of infections are considerably less.
- With time these treatments have become completely bloodless.
- It does not result in scarring in most cases.
- The downtime is extremely less. Most people can resumes with their daily routine in just a few days.
Possible Side effects
The side effects related to laser resurfacing of the skin are enumerated as below:
- It might cause swelling or crusting of the skin. However this effect is temporary and mild and lasts only for a week or two.
- Laser resurfacing often causes redness on the treated area which lasts for approximately 6 months.
- It might cause hyper or hypo pigmentation especially if you have dark skin color.
- In very rare cases it might lead to infection. Though with the new development the chances have considerably reduced.
- It might also cause scarring. This happens mostly if you have been on isotretinoin recently for the treatment of acne.
- Laser resurfacing often reactivates cold sores.
The laser resurfacing treatment may have quiet a few potential side effects and there is an important need to maintain the following precautions in order to avoid any damage or danger:
- You must avoid taking any such medication that might reduce clotting, 10 days before the surgery.
- You need cut out on smoking 2 weeks before and after the procedure in order to facilitate healing.
- After 24 hours of the treatment, you need to wash the affected area 4 to 5 times a day and moisturize it to prevent scabbing.
- Around the time of the procedure and some days following it, you should avoid wearing any make up.
- After treatment, your skin becomes sensitive to the sun and you must avoid any exposure and if not completely avoidable, do not forget to wear a sunscreen lotion having a SPF of 30 or more.
- The skin should be properly moisturized.
Customer reviews for Laser Resurfacing
We did an analysis of online reviews by consumers who have used this treatment to see what they liked and disliked about it. Here is a summary of their experiences:
What they liked about Laser Resurfacing
Effective Method: Most people felt that this treatment was extremely effective. They noticed a good 80% reduction in their breakouts in only 2 to 3 rounds of treatment
Improved Skin texture: Not only was this treatment effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of acne breakouts, but it also improved the tone and texture of the skin as a whole making it softer, smoother and more firm. Many were of the view that it made their skin more youthful.
What they did not like about Laser Resurfacing
Expensive Treatment: One factor which disturbed a few consumers was the expensiveness of this treatment. This became a more pressing issue also because most insurance companies are not willing to cover the expenses if it is for a cosmetic purpose.
Some had Cystic breakout after treatment: Some consumers complained that it leads to cystic acne breakouts in about 3 to 4 months after the treatment. It is important to note that it happened with people who had never earlier faced the problem of cystic acne. It also resulted, in some cases, in extreme redness of the skin.
Laser resurfacing has now been time tested and a widely used treatment.
Its ability to induce collagen fiber formation makes the new skin extremely tight, firm and youthful, with no signs of damage at all.
Not only does it prevents acne breakouts but also improves the overall structure and texture of the skin.
It might be a bit expensive but the overall impact that it has on the skin is definitely worth it.